“A spur trail takes you along alpine terrain to an incredible overlook of Helen Lake at Ahern Pass.”
— Jake Bramante
Birding · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This spur trail off of the Northern Highline Trail
is a must do for anyone visiting the area. Most will take it as part of a backpacking trip, but it can be done as a longer day outing from the Loop or as a mountaineering trip along the Ptarmigan Wall. The trail climbs up through a high alpine ecosystem with incredible panoramic views the entire time. Small subalpine firs dot beargrass meadows.
Once at the overlook, you are looking at waterfalls coming off of Ahern Glacier which is perched between Ipasha Peak and Ahern Peak. These waterfalls feed Helen Lake which is the headwaters of the Belly River.
This pass is famous for the route that Joe Cosley took as he was escaping the law on his way to Canada.
Bring bear spray, as this trail passes through bear territory.
This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit hike734.com
for more expert Glacier content and maps that help you decide which trail to hike.
Flora & Fauna
Alpine meadows are incredible for flowers from Glacier Lilies to Fireweed. Keep an eye out for huckleberries in the fall. Grizzlies, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep are all possible to see as well as smaller alpine animals such as marmots and pikas.